Meg Barnhart began her career in sales for the hospitality industry, eventually transitioning to event planning and management. When her middle child was born developmentally delayed, she stepped back and focused on her family. In 2012, she started her business with the intention of creating employment opportunities for adults with developmental challenges.
“Invest the time and energy to ask yourself why you’re starting a business, it’s a question a lot of people, when I ask them that, why are you starting it, where’s the motivation, a lot of people really can’t answer it, they know what they like, they know what they want to do but they can’t really give you the why and I think until you really discover the why that you need to spend more time before you get your business started”…[Listen for More]
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David Feinman began his online career marketing concerts in high school on Facebook. He took a 200 person monthly concert and turned it into a 1600 person monthly event through Facebook Advertising. David went on to start The Zombie Run which grew from 0-35,000 participants in 9 months in 16 major markets. The race was featured in Wired, Anderson Cooper and is known nationally throughout the USA. David Co-Founded Viral Ideas Marketing which creates video content for clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 Brands.
“Do what’s right for you, I know a lot of people will say just do it, but do what’s right for you meaning is it really right for you to start a business and if you’re doing it, are you doing it in a way that’s right for you. Maybe you have a family and kids but you want to start a business but you have a mortgage and a house and you have to pay for college, is there a way that you can start a business that’s a little bit on the side that you’re doing something that you’re getting started with. Once that income starts to build up you could potentially start to divest your relationship with your employer and keep them both going” …[Listen for More]
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Shawn Maida is an established leader in technology with over 15 years of professional development experience. Driven by a passion for people and technology, he founded Foster Made in 2005 with the encouragement of his wife, Sara. Since day one, he's worked tirelessly to create meaningful digital experiences through thoughtful interactions with the Foster Made Team and the people they serve.
“You can’t be complacent. Really knowing what the values you’re pushing for are, what is the lens that you evaluate all your decisions through, is that lens going to be like, is this going to make me money, is that the legacy that you want your business to have, or is there some other lens. …[Listen for More]
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Lynn Hord is the Joy Coach, founder of Joy School and a leading light in the field of joy creation. As a certified coach and facilitator, Lynn helps entrepreneurs and organisations harness the power of joy to feel more motivated, more fulfilled and more on purpose in their lives and work.
“Get really clear on how you work best as an individual. How are you working, are you working to your strengths, are you doing marketing that’s actually to your flow so it’s really looking at as an individual and I know whether you’re working for yourself or you’ve got a particular role in a business and you’re employing a lot of staff, it’s like are you working to your best capability and in your role or your business in the things that you’re doing” …[Listen for More]
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Born and raised in Chicago, IL, USA, Dan Micic always had a knack for problem-solving. While studying finance & business management at Harper College, he discovered his skill for sales and operating a business. He noticed that the University’s Biology department was in need of medical supplies and decided to do something about it. The ambitious Dan made his first sale of medical supplies when he arranged for 80 cases of Medline medical gloves to be sold to the University’s Biology department. He saw the biggest opportunity for business in nursing and medical supplies so he expanded out in that market by increasing his inventory. That was the start of a company that has grown to be one of the largest providers of medical supplies to educational institutes across North America. In 2007, Dan founded Medical Shipment, the premium supplier of simulation nursing supplies and equipment. As president Dan creates the strategic vision of the company, builds partnerships with suppliers and marketplace influencers, and recruits domestic and international sales and account management teams. Today the company is a million-dollar success and takes pride in its dedication to customer service and Dan’s drive to impact the industry for the better. In addition to running a business, Dan is a dedicated student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is also a competitive poker player, travel enthusiast and socialite. Grateful for an amazing group of friends and family, Dan makes sure to welcome visitors to Chicago and expresses his passion for the local teams, his beloved Chicago Bears, White Sox, and Bulls!
“If you have an idea right now whatever it may be, small, medium, and big, on a business and you want to start it my best advice to you would be to do it, whatever the case is go out and do it. Even if you fail, Even if it doesn’t succeed, even if things don’t go your way you have learned the most valuable lesson in a game of business I like to call is understanding how business’s run, understanding that it is not easy but if you can take that first step you’re doing a lot better than a lot of people across the world” …[Listen for More]
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Leslie Nance teaches others how to live an anti-cancer lifestyle with health insurance you can eat via her Shorty Award nominated live interactive cooking show “Lunch with Leslie”. She is an early adopter of live motion broadcasting with one the first culinary shows on Periscope that now reaches audiences across Facebook Live and YouTube Live. She is a teacher, spiritual storyteller, cancer survivor and bold content creator. She is also the newest radio personality at 1301 KFKA sharing her healthy advice on her newest show “Fork It Over”
“Once you start don’t stop, every other day I’ll go to my husband and say, I’m so done with this right now, can I just go back to our life prior to this, we had a clock shop and antique store, my husband is a clock repairman, can we just go back to having an antique store and a clock shop because I don’t want to do this anymore, that lasts for about an hour or 2, it’s probably because something weird has happened, I’m just tired, typically it’s because I’ve not taken enough time for myself and so once you start don’t stop, keep going” …[Listen for More]
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Start with Phyllis Matson, an inspiring and creative theatre designer, add Debbie Todd, a spunky, smart and fun-loving CPA, blend thoroughly with 80+puppet friends. Sprinkle custom-designed shows liberally with belly laughs, songs and fun activities – and you’ll get Smart Money Commanders!
“Being an entrepreneur is not a get rich quick program, you’re not going to work 2 hours a week, I don’t care what the shiny social media ads are going to tell you. It takes planning, action, patience, heart, a lot of courage and the willingness to stare adversity in the face and say game on” …[Listen for More]
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Casey Kuckert, CEO of Kuckert Consulting Enterprises mentors women to scale and grow their business. Casey is a leader in the insurance industry and has built 5 successful businesses over 7 figures from the ground up. She has a love for business and empowering women to live their best life.
“Not let fear hold you back, recognise it and realise that fear plays a role in getting you out of your comfort zone and pushing you to the next level so look at it as something that you can run and embrace and go after”…[Listen for More]
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Kyle Kinsel is an accomplished entrepreneur and developer with a strong track record for building successful companies from the ground up and growing them into some of the largest companies in the Texas oil field, construction and logistics markets. Some of the companies founded or co-founded by Kyle include Coastal Crushed Concrete, Frac Resources, LLC (now Twin Eagle Sand Logistics), and Breakwater Energy Services. Kyle currently serves as Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ruckit Inc, his most recent venture. Under Kyle ’s leadership Ruckit has developed the first ever mobile application trucking platform for niche industry trucking markets to share from a pool of independent trucks (collaborative platform for specialized trucking) and is considered the leader in the space. In 2005 Kyle co-founded Coastal Crushed Concrete, a concrete recycling company which he and his partners developed from a concept into five major facilities. During his ownership, Coastal become a market leader in the Houston aggregate space until its eventual buyout by a local competitor in . Just before Coastal’s sale, Kyle pointed his efforts towards the booming oil shale plays. In 2010 he co-founding Frac Resources to develop frac sand logistic assets into the growing shale plays. In 2012 Frac Resources partnered with Twin Eagle Resources Management, a well capitalized energy and rail logistics company, to form what is today known as Twin Eagle Frac Sand Logistics (“TESL”). Today TESL is one of the largest frac sand transloading companies in the United States with over $80 million in rail and silo assets across the major shale plays. It has more than 140 employees and annual revenues of greater than $30 million. Kyle is also the founding partner in Breakwater Energy Services which is the market leader for water transfer and recycling in the Texas oil field with over 2000 employees and $30M in assets. Breakwater leads new innovation in the water market that is changing the way energy companies look at water infrastructure. By developing world class facilities like Mission Rail Park in San Antonio, Kyle has gained experience in real estate, construction and rail logistics. Today he is focused on new infrastructure projects in rail, trucking, water pipeline, real estate and the technological efficiencies to make them more profitable assets.
“If I was going to teach a class on entrepreneurship it would be on partners I think and picking good partners, and picking partners that have skills that you don’t possess to satisfy the things that you’re shortcomings, and then having really bad partners as well, know the people you’re getting in business with, do your research on them and make expectations on partnership really clear”…[Listen for More]
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Alex Schlinsky is the founder of Prospecting On Demand™, a digital marketing agency and online mastermind program with 100+ members focusing on lead generation, sales, mindset, and goal-setting for digital marketers and entrepreneurs alike. From Psychology graduate to NFL & UFC media member, to renowned business coach and marketer; Alex is an inspiration to all those leading the entrepreneurial way.
“Believe in yourself, really truly believe in yourself. If you really believe in yourself, if you really are passionate about something and you really do want to accomplish something it starts with believing in yourself, if you don’t believe in yourself, who will, who will believe in yourself” …[Listen for More]
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David Wogahn began his entrepreneurial journey raising chickens to sell eggs to his neighbors. Bored with corporate life at the LA Times years later, David co-founded a college sports Internet start-up in 1995 that outlasted the dotcom bubble. Today he helps authors form their own publishing imprint, and publishes their books.
“You have to run towards that wall as if it’s not going to be there and I have a little sign above my office door and it has 0.01 and the 0.01 that’s 100th of a second, Michael Phelps won the gold medal in China in one of his swimming races and I always think that just the slightest little push with his fingers got him to that wall in a 100th of a second over his competitor and you can’t forget that every single little detail matters like that and that extra effort really does make a difference”…[Listen for More]
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Dr. Amy Climer is the owner of Climer Consulting. She is a speaker, trainer, and coach who teaches teams how to innovate on demand. She developed the Deliberate Creative™ Team Scale to help teams understand how to increase their creativity. She hosts The Deliberate Creative™ podcast and she is the designer of Climer Cards, a creativity and teambuilding tool.
“Whatever you’re doing, do it with integrity, do it in a way that’s in alignment to who you are and so if something doesn’t feel right, something feels slimy or you’re like oh I don’t know but maybe I’m supposed to do this anyway, maybe you shouldn’t do it, and maybe figure out is there a way that you can get the same results in a way that is in alignment with you and when I think about the entrepreneurs that I really look up to they’re ones that are living and leading with integrity”…[Listen for More]
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Jesse Miller is the founder of Integrity Enterprises, a coaching and consulting firm based in Norman, Oklahoma. After 17 years of working in and owning small businesses across differtent industries Jesse followed his heart and built a company that specializes in helping businesses solve their issues. The biggest problem he sees in businesses all revolve around the leader/owner/boss not effectively leading their organizations. Jesse created The Perfect Operating System which helps business owners build a mental framework to grow their profits drastically by helping them lead their organization better.
“Get really clear on what you want to do and commit yourself fully to that and also with your team, make sure you’re giving them the resources that they need. They’re not there to serve you they’re there to serve the mission of the organisation, make sure they have what they’re need to do what they’re doing well” …[Listen for More]
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Summer Turner is the founder of Business Breakthrough Training LLC. She creates programs to help introverted women entrepreneurs navigate and thrive in this extrovert-biased world. She has a degree in Psychology, and her background includes adult learning, instructional design, and creativity training. Knitting is her hobby, which keeps her sane.
“Don’t be like me, at some point in my process in becoming an entrepreneur I realised I had one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brakes and this is probably common for a lot of people, especially risk averse people like me and one way I had my foot on the brake is that I was timid about declaring my core message, my strong differentiating core message because I realised it could be polarising and that was scary to me so it wasn’t until I proved my concept in beta testing that I finally got the courage to declare it so I guess I have to say that my best advice is getting out there with a beta test”…[Listen for More]
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Simplicity Circle Founder Milana Leshinsky is creating a simplicity revolution for coaches, authors, speakers and entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses with ease. Creator of the Recurring Revenue Revolution, author of Coaching Millions, co-founder of JV Insider Circle, and an inventor of telesummit, Milana is known as a serial entrepreneur and paradigm shifter by many luminaries. She came from Soviet Ukraine 25 years ago as a classical musician with zero knowledge of the business world, and has built multiple six and seven-figure businesses. Today she’s passionate about showing entrepreneurs how to use simplicity as a growth strategy. Goodbye complexity and overwhelm. Hello simplicity, profits, and ease.
“There is no guru, guru as in expert, no body truly knows the right way because if there was one right way everybody would be following that formula for growing the business so there is no guru, you are the guru, you are the one, the only one who can tell which methods are going to work for you, you might be imitating somebody, you might be receiving an email about a strategy that says this is the fastest, the easiest way to grow your business and then you try it and it doesn’t work for you but it worked for the person who recommended it to you so this is why I say there is no guru, you are listening to people who really don’t know your natural abilities, your superskills, your strengths, who maybe don’t understand your passions, your interests, your lifestyle goals, your vision for your life, you’re the only one who can really filter through all the advice coming at you and then make a decision what is the right way for you to make a decision” …[Listen for More]
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Natalie Ard is the creator, author, and illustrator of The Christmas Star From Afar®, She is a wife and a mother to three children and has built her company on the foundation of creating lasting memories for children and their families.
“Set yourself a reasonable goal and just take a step towards it, that might be something as simple as buying you domain name of something you’ve been thinking you might want to offer, a service you might want to sell but constantly give yourself little goals to keep moving in the right direction” …[Listen for More]
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Michael Gale is the co-author of the Wall Street Journal Bestseller, "The Digital Helix: Transforming Your Organization's DNA to Thrive in the Digital Age." Michael founded Strategic Oxygen in 2001, which was widely seen as one of the technology industry’s primary data toolsets for marketers, used by over 20 brands and used to model over $4 billion in marketing and sales investments. The company was sold to Monitor Group, where he was a group partner from 2006 to 2010. In 2011, he became a partner at Pulsepoint Group, a digital consulting company, which was acquired by ICF in 2015. Michael has also served as chief web officer and GM at Micron Technology and was the vice president of Worldwide brand research at IntelliQuest.
“Always assume tradition is the illusion of permanence and really understand what you’re about and follow that with immense energy” …[Listen for More]
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Liz Melville is a highly regarded Facebook ads and marketing strategist, with over 7 years experience helping online entrepreneurs build authority in their niche, and grow a successful online business using Facebook. Her portfolio includes working with the world’s foremost Facebook marketing expert, Mari Smith. She loves to teach entrepreneurs how to use Facebook ads and marketing strategically to build COMMUNITY, CONNECTION and CREDIBILITY online, and to create a profitable and sustainable business.
“Keep it simple, I really can’t stress that enough because I see so much of us chasing shiny objects, the latest tech that comes in that we thing we’ve got to have and implement in our business’s and we tie ourselves in knots trying to do that and sometimes simplest is best, keep it simple, focus on the easiest route for you to get offers to your customers, don’t put barriers in your way, don’t make it hard for yourself” …[Listen for More]
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For four long years, Tara Langdale-Schmidt, 32, suffered the excruciating pain of Vulvodynia. She experienced sharp burning pain in her pelvic area, making it impossible to enjoy intercourse with her future husband. The pain impacted her quality of life. From Tara’s previous positive experience using magnets to reduce back and neck nerve pain after a car accident, she had a “lightbulb moment” to incorporate neodymium magnets into a vaginal dilator. With the help of a friend, Robert Smithson, medical experts and advisers, Tara turned her idea into a nonprescription medical device that has proven to help women relieve pelvic pain and sexual discomfort.
“Find a product that nobody else is willing to make and by nobody else, not anybody because I have about 5 competitors, 5 or 6 but none of them have the magnet sleeve that our dilators do but to find a product that’s going to help people that people need that you don’t have a lot of competitors, because this product, I really don’t have a competitor. If you’re trying to sell a tshirt you’ve got millions and millions of competitors and yea while it might be fun, you might not make any money and it might not work so just find something and make sure the profit margins are nice. You have to have some nice profit margins to keep a business going”…[Listen for More]
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Jessica Lorimer is a Sales Coach and Leadership Expert who works with online service based business owners to develop proven sales strategies to attract premium clients with ease so that they have more time, money and freedom and don’t have to worry about finding new clients every month and become an established leader in their field.
“Fail fast and fail often, don’t be afraid to suck at certain things in your business because honestly every failure is a learning experience and that’s all that’s going to happen, yes you might occasionally really irritate somebody, you might lose the odd follower but actually learning to fail and learning to get back up is really important for your business and it’s long term growth”…[Listen for More]
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Melissa Long is the founder and CEO of the Wake Foot Sanctuary. She is a former corporate sales manager who left Maine and moved to the mountains in North Carolina to follow her entrepreneurial dream and start up a business. Now Melissa is making the move from small business owner to franchisor. After founding the Wake Foot Sanctuary in 2011, she quickly built a next generation one hour spa concept that is now driving more revenue per square foot than the leading spa brands, and averaging 50% year over year revenue growth. Melissa’s mission is to lead a team of great people in making the Wake Foot Sanctuary brand into the BEST shared spa experience in the world – with a first of its kind franchise concept.
“Try to build teams around you that help to shore up gaps that you might be weak in because everybody has weaknesses and I would say to really try to grow as a leader for your people and to do that with integrity, that’s the real test of what people are going to remember about you when you’re gone, you can’t take your worldly possessions with you when you’re gone you only have your legacy” …[Listen for More]
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Steve Weiss is a lifelong entrepreneur having started his first successful venture at age 16 in his high school's computer lab. Over the last three years, Steve invested most of his time building MuteSix as a performance marketing powerhouse. It’s since grown at a rate of 300%+ per year and is the most awarded Facebook social advertising agency, with more Facebook & Instagram marketing case studies than any other agency. In 2017, MuteSix was named one of Inc. magazine's Best Workplaces and ranked #341 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies. Steve is a highly regarded speaker on Entrepreneurship, eCommerce, and Facebook advertising and can be heard weekly on the “Spend $10K a Day” digital media podcast.
“It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you’ve done in the past what other people have done, the key is to shut out all the other stuff, measuring yourself against other people, measuring yourself against other people is toxic, do stuff that you’re passionate about, time is your most valuable asset, trust yourself, you’d be surprised what you can accomplish by trusting yourself it doesn’t matter where you’re from, education background, what part of town you’re from you have just as much opportunity for success as anyone else in this world” …[Listen for More]
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Susan MacNicol is the founder and president of Strategic & Creative Marketing Inc., a Chicago-area company dedicated to working with business owners and corporations to increase sales through effective, targeted campaigns. Susan has over 25 years of business experience spanning several industries including media, entertainment, retail, higher education, and data. Her roles have ranged from marketing, employment branding, and client relations, to sales, recruiting and training. Prior to establishing her consulting company in 2001, Susan held management positions at several media companies including: STARZ Encore Group, Samuel Goldwyn Studios, Columbia TriStar Television Distribution and Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment). She has worked in Los Angeles, Denver, Europe and the Middle East. She holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a BA in Marketing Communications from Columbia College Chicago.
“Have a very good plan in place and really think through everything before you jump in, it will make it so much easier if you lay out a plan and get some free advice, you can get advice that you need and really develop a business plan because I think that holds back people as well, when they don’t have a plan they don’t have a direction and they don’t know their pricing their market, they haven’t done their homework, do your homework, don’t just quit your job one day and go I’m going to have a business, it doesn’t work that ways, you have to get your ducks in a row”…[Listen for More]
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Sonia Thompson spent more than 10 years living the corporate life, helping grow million and billion dollar healthcare brands around the world. Now she's a consultant and digital marketing strategist that helps businesses get the customers they want and keep them coming back for more. She’s the author of the book Delight Inside, as well as a host of a top-rated podcast, and a columnist at Inc.
“Get in motion and stay in motion, getting in motion is actually the first step because then the law of physics will kick in, I believe Newton’s first law of motion is that an object in motion is much more likely to stay in motion unless you have an equal and opposing force acting on it so the hardest part is to get in motion and once you’re in motion you’re much more likely to stay in motion. An object at rest is much more likely to stay at rest; once you build that first step it’s much more easy to build momentum” …[Listen for More]
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Scott Harper is a technology entrepreneur at his core, with an engineering and finance background. Prior to creating Dialexa in 2010, he has been a founder of several companies and worked in several early stage companies ranging from banking to consumer web to enterprise software. In 2016 Scott was recognized by Ernst & Young with the EY Emerging Technology Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 Southwest Award.
“I’ll never forget when I was out fundraising and talking, I had 3 meetings in one day with some different investors and I asked them how much money do you think I should raise and I got 3 very different answers from all 3 very credible people and I think what you got to realise that there is no connect the dots way of doing things and there is no connect the dots way to success, there’s no such thing as good advice or bad advice there’s just advice”…[Listen for More]
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